Understanding the Role of Technology in Capitalism as Both a Constructive and Destructive Process – Final Update

I am currently proofreading the final draft of my paper, and will be submitting it later today. Looking back to my original abstract, the final paper diverged some from what I originally expected it to be, particularly regarding insurrection. I did intend for this project to be somewhat exploratory though, so diverging from the original path isn’t entirely unexpected. In particular, this paper ended up being an exploration of accelerationism rather than technology backed insurgency, though with what I have learned this was likely for the best.

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Understanding the Role of Technology in Capitalism as Both a Constructive and Destructive Factor – Update 2

Since my last update, I have finished the math based portion of my research, and begun writing the final paper. I focused on Marx’s equation for the rate of profit, and was able to develop a substantial mathematical proof for the conditions under which the rate of profit will fall. I started by using basic calculus to find the change in the rate of profit over time. I found that, for a constant rate of surplus-value (which is often the case), the change in the rate of profit is proportional to the change in the ratio of variable capital (labor) to constant capital (machines and raw materials). While variable capital can only increase alongside constant capital due to the need for tools for workers to work with, constant capital can increase on its own through technological developments and maintenance costs. Due to competition driving capitalists to maximise efficiency, the rate at which variable and constant capital is change is one where the ratio of variable to constant will always decrease, causing the rate of profit to fall as well.

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Understanding the Role of Technology in Both Building and Dismantling Capitalism – Update 1

For my first update, I have mostly completed background research on my topic of the role of technology in capitalism.While doing so, I have diverged slightly from my initial expectations for the project, while remaining focused on the same topic. I had originally intended to investigate how technology can be used by insurrectionists to dismantle capitalism. After conducting initial research though, I found that there are likely far better ways technology can be leveraged against capitalism than through traditional insurrectionary means. Of particular interest are the potential of artificial intelligence and the role of heat. I still plan on covering some insurrectionary tactics, such as the recent development of 3D printed guns, but they won’t be the main focus. I also found that the density of many of my sources made it more effective to read a variety of shorter articles, papers, and individual book chapters, than to read a small collection of complete works that make up the core of the subject, as I had originally intended. For example, rather than reading the entirety of Capital by Marx, I found that The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall and Fragment on Machines contained all the relevant information I needed and saved me countless hours to explore other works and investigate topics in greater detail.

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